What management style do you use? Affiliative Style (Part 5)

Having a management style is an inherent part of being a leader, knowing what your style is and how to use it for the benefit of your team makes you a better leader. When you can recognise what style you gravitate to naturally and how and when to shift gears to another style, it will help your team to be more productive, boost workplace morale and improve staff retention rates. This seven-part series is a look at some of the styles of management common in workplaces, how they can be best used and when, and how employees respond in general to each of the styles of management.

Affiliative Style

  • People before business
  • Organic management of people, not business
  • Best used in conjunction with structured styles

People first. That is what this style really focuses on, the people of the business matter more than the business itself. This management style is designed to create harmony between all within the organisation. It is about bonds and development of professional relationships, so tasks can come second to personal development.

This style allows for employees to feel valued. There is minimum conflict in the workplace and employees feel that they are highly valued as people first and employees second. It allows all people to be who they are, respected for that and encouraged in their professional development in organic ways.

However, this style does not work for everyone and can lead to issues. Some employees who are task-driven might see this style as time-wasting as employees spend time bonding rather than working. It can lead to a mediocre performance from some employees who see that management is not focused on the outcome of tasks, or who might take advantage of the relaxed style of mateship in the workplace. This style does not work in a crisis, or when the value of the work is output driven.

This style works best when used in conjunction with other styles, such as pace setting, to create a balance. It is also a great style to use when a team needs to ‘reboot’ after a conflict or major change in order to rebuild team morale. In a workplace that has a routine output of a similar standard each time, this style will encourage people to feel valued and give employees something to connect to in their work.

In our next blog, we discuss the Democratic style of leadership, when this can improve productivity and how it can embolden your employees.